Christian Conservatives Have Reason to be Alarmed at 2017 Election Results
We have now had a couple of days to process the election results from the 2017 November elections. There have been wide ranging articles reflecting a wide variety of analysis. Some declare 2018 will be the year for progressives (Democrats), some declare the 2017 election results were a small blip on the radar to be expected in predominately blue states, and other say there is no real concerns for conservative Christians. I believe there is a real reason to be alarmed…but not panicked.
REASONS FOR ALARM
The Culture War Rages
One particular race highlights that the Culture War rages and social conservative values continue to lose ground. In Virginia, Transgender Democrat Danica Roem soundly defeated a 13-term Conservative Republican Robert Marshall. Delegate Marshall had authored a bill last year in the Virginia legislature to protect women from men using women’s locker rooms and bathrooms. The defeat is alarming in that the victory was by over 10 points and it represents a significant cultural rejection of common sense boundaries and protections.
I Estimate that Conservative Christian Voter Turn Out was Down
Early voter analysis in Virginia showed a high turn-out rate for liberal-minded voters. I predict there will be a correspondingly lower turn-out rate for Conservative Christians.
Many Conservative Christians voted for Donald Trump with great trepidation and fear. President Trump has given this voting block both reasons to cheer (Supreme Court and other judicial nominations, roll back of pro-LGBTQ policies, shoring up of religious liberty freedoms) while remaining wary because of his unconventional personality and the still looming New York City liberal influence around him.
More threatening to Conservative Christian morale is a Republican-controlled Congress who has either broken or failed to successfully act upon on many of their campaign promises.
These two items are a recipe for disastrous disengagement and much lower voter turn out.
The Progressive Left is Waking Up
The left has proven it is waking up, even in the midst of seeming chaos within the Democrat National Committee. Revelations that the Democrat nomination was in effect given to Hillary with Bernie not given an even chance will serve as a rallying cry for many progressives in 2018. They are angry, angry at a President, angry at a stolen nomination, angry at a lost dream of free everything, and angry because of a myriad of hurt feelings. If they get organized, 2018 could be huge for progressive ideologies in elections.
2018 Could See a Disastrous Shift in Control of State Legislative Houses
In Virginia, the Republican Party lost a 32-seat advantage in its legislature…in one election. The Washington State legislature was lost to Democrat control. Progressives gained seats in New Jersey’s legislature. In Connecticut, 22 municipalities reportedly flipped control from Republican to Democrat control. Granted none of these states are conservative bastions but stick with me.
During the presidency of Barak Obama there was a massive change of power that took place in state legislatures much because of a backlash to his policies. From 2008 to 2013 Democrats lost 643 state legislative seats representing a 9% change of total seats. More pointedly they lost control of 21 state legislative houses as a result. A 9% change in legislators resulted in 21% of the legislative chambers changing power.
This is of real significance in terms of policies and laws enacted. Some states switched from a trifecta status of 100% one party rule to split control, thus slowing the implementation of progressive policies from Washington D.C. In some states, conservative majorities grew so as to pass truly God honoring legislation.
The 2017 elections showed that there is a pendulum swing in motion back towards progressively dominated legislative bodies. Question is how far will this pendulum swing? As noted above, it does not take a landslide shift to effect the control of any legislative body. Most seat swaps take place in “swing” districts where it does not take a large number of votes to change power. Whoever best mobilizes and turns out, wins. Who will turn out in 2018?
REASONS NOT TO BE PANICKED
The Good News
Conservative Christians still know our fate (because of what Jesus has done for us) and we are responsible for our own actions. In the midst of darkness we are called to action to be light; we are called to action to share the Good News; we are called to action as Ambassadors for Christ. The call to action for Jesus Christ never ends.
In 2016 the Enemy and his schemes experienced a set-back. However, the Enemy will not quit and the 2017 elections was a demonstration of his effort to regroup and continue his attack. This means Conservative Christians must continue to heed the Ephesians 6:13 call to “…put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” We are to resist the true enemy and we are to remain standing firm.
There are Some Action Items
Get your rears into gear. Tax reform will not be enough to motivate social conservatives next year.
– Take action and confirm the quality nominees to judicial vacancies by President Trump.
– Take action to provide responsible yet compassion health care reform and DEFUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD!
– Provide for the common defense by passing meaningful immigration control that properly vets and welcomes new guests into America.
– Un-gag the Church by repealing the Johnson Amendment.
Keep up your terrific work towards protecting religious liberties and stopping the use of the military and government as an LGBTQ social experimentation ground; please continue to press forward on these God honoring actions. Please reserve shock and awe for the battlefield and not Twitter.
Preach the gospel, nothing but the gospel, and the entire gospel.
Reclaim Sunday mornings for worshiping God, teaching and learning more about Him, and helping people to become more like Jesus Christ. Teach about the Jesus who meekly went to the cross for our sins (Phil 2: 5-8) AND flipped over tables at the temple (John 2: 14-15), teach about both the Lamb of God (1 Pet 1:19) AND the Lion of Judah (Rev 5:5), demonstrate the Jesus who both wept (John 11: 35) AND has eyes of blazing fire (Rev 19: 11-13). Preach and teach both grace AND holiness.
Turn from the temptation of entertainment and turn from the temptation of popularity and social acceptance. Churches, turn back to teaching the whole Truth, return to the call to make disciples, and heed the responsibility of influencing and transforming the culture.
Keep our faith and trust solely upon Jesus Christ and NOT on any political party, legislative body, or church body for real lasting hope and change.
Yet remain engaged in political, legislative, and policy discussions so as to represent Biblical, God honoring principles in the civic arena.
Keep pressing for socially conservative candidates, policies, and legislation. While these cannot and will not in and of themselves turn our Country back from the brink but they certainly can’t hurt!
Like Paul, keep pressing “on toward the goal for the prize toward the upward call of God to Jesus Christ” (Phil 3:14); that prize being the words of Jesus telling us “Well done, good and faithful servant! (Matt 25:21)”